We hear about “compassion fatigue” – being so surrounded by constant news and images of suffering that after a while we can’t cope, and withdraw. Jesus had just heard news of his cousin John’s execution, and headed to a remote place to be alone. But when the needy crowds kept seeking and following him, he put his needs aside and continued meeting theirs, healing thousands. No compassion fatigue. When the disciples suggested sending the crowds away to buy dinner, Jesus’ responded with a massive miracle: a completely satisfying meal for perhaps 20,000 people, created out of nothing.
Only God can do that: he did it in Exodus 16, and he did it again here in Luke; so figure out who Jesus is!
Straight after, Jesus rescued the disciples in their buffeted boat in a fierce storm. Peter trusted Jesus, although he had doubts; but Jesus knew Peter’s faith, and saved him. In the midst of faith we can have doubts; but without knowing everything, we know God’s provision for us in Christ, so we can trust him for all we need and for full satisfaction.